CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The number of moose hunting permits awarded by lottery is down significantly, and so was the mood of celebration as hunters packed New Hampshire Fish and Game headquarters in hopes of hearing their names called.

Fish and Game officials Friday announced the winners of the 124 permits - less than half the 275 awarded in recent years.

Only one hunter in the standing-room only audience won - Keven Lefebvre of New Boston. He's been enrolled in the lottery since it began in 1988 and won a permit 10 years ago.

The decline in permits offered this year reflects a drop in the moose population - from a peak of about 7,600 in 1996 to about 4,400.

Fish and Game officials say 10,420 hunters entered.

Moose season runs from Oct. 18-26.


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